§ Mr. Garrett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the recent Food Safety Week initiative; and what action her Department is taking to promote food hygiene.
§ Mr. Sackville
The Food Safety Week initiative is very welcome. It will help everyone involved in buying and preparing food, whether for themselves or for others, to keep it safe. This reflects the Government's view that producers, manufacturers, caterers and consumers should all play their part in maintaining high standards of food hygiene.
The Government promote good food hygiene practice to the consumer through such publications as the "Food Safety" booklet in the "Food Sense" series, which incor-porates the advice issued from the Chief Medical Officer on food hygiene measures, and the booklet "While you are Pregnant: Safe Eating and how to avoid infection from Food and Animals" targeted specifically at pregnant women. Copies of the publications are available in the Library.243W
Regulations under the Food Safety Act 1990 deal with food hygiene and the Government issue codes of practice to the authorities responsible for enforcing these regulations, encouraging them to focus on issues of public health and to apply the regulations consistently. Copies of the guidelines issued are available in the Library.
Government promotion of food hygiene to the food industry includes the publication of guidelines on tem-perature controls for certain foods and participation in food industry trade fairs to help provide food hygiene advice to industry. Copies of the guidelines will be placed in the Library. The Department is currently drawing up plans for a campaign of publicity and information to the food industry, local authorities and those representing consumer interests, in connection with the EC directive on the hygiene of foodstuffs, which is likely to be implemented in late 1994.